A five-man Swiss-French expedition team succeeds in the first ascent of the 2000 meter high west face of the Apostle Tommelfinger in Greenland. Far away from civilization, the five adventurers reach the mountain on their own with kayaks. The team climbed the wall in six days. In addition to persistent difficulties in the rock, the key point is an icy overhang of a hanging glacier.

With this message, LACRUX is like the old carnival, because the expedition was already reported in other media in September. But LACRUX didn't exist back then. But because the publication of this first ascent in Greenland is important to us, we will report on it afterwards.

Silvan Schüpbach, Christian Ledergerber, Fabio Lupo (CH) as well as Jerôme Sullivan and Antoine Moineville (F) are united by a thirst for adventure and willingness to give everything for a big goal. When the five friends left the port of Aapilatooq in South Greenland on July 21, 2016, they had little knowledge of what to expect on their planned first ascent in Greenland. The only photo of the mountain shows only the top 300 meters to the summit. In seven days, the team paddles 170 kilometers through fjords and across the open sea. Strong currents, wind and large waves make kayaking extremely challenging. The five adventurers compensate for the lack of kayaking experience with will, prudence and a little luck.

At the foot of the mountain Apostel Tommelfinger

After seven days in the kayak, a long time of uncertainty comes to an end, when the west wall of the apostle Tommelfinger reveals itself in its full size. With the altimeter you register the wall foot on 300 meters above sea level. The summit is measured 2300 meters above sea level. These dimensions clearly exceed the climbers' expectations. As the team at 29. In July, 2016 enters the wall, the sacks of food and equipment are packed for nine days. A hovering glacier arm bypasses the first 300 meters. The entry into the wall succeeds over a 120 meter high hanging glacier. Overhanging and partially loose ice is a major stress test both physically and psychologically. Since the team did not expect such high ice difficulties and only packed very little material, only four ice screws are available. When the climbers finally reach the beginning of the rock, they are relieved. From there they are no longer threatened by stone and ice.

Six cold nights in hammocks

As a result, the five continue to climb in the so-called capsule style, that is. they always stay in the wall, but use up to 200 meter rope to fix rope lengths above the bivouac sites. As the nerve-racking and well-functioning team at 3. By the end of July, when 2016 reaches the summit, there are many strenuous pitches in chimneys and partly bad rock, as well as some frozen nights in hammocks behind them. Shortly after the summit, it begins to snow heavily and the giant wall is covered with an ice sheet. Another night in wet sleeping bags, the climbers survive before they can finally set foot on flat ground after a long day of rappelling. In addition to many abseil slings and only one bolt, the team leaves 100 Meter rope to rappel over the dangerous hanging glacier as quickly as possible. On the 13. August, the five reach their starting point Aapilatooq and thus conclude the first ascent in Greenland.

Facts about the route "Metrophobia" Apostel Tommelfinger (west wall, 2300m)

1700 altitude, ice 120 °, A2 +, 7a
The route name Metrophobia has two meanings. The noise of the constantly thundering avalanches reminded the adventurers of the sound of a metro. With the word “phobia”, the expedition members want to express the weariness of civilization that is needed for such an enterprise.

The starting point Aapilatooq


Text and images: (pd)


Do you also feel the civilization's weariness?

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